UC Santa Barbara ranks second-best in the nation amongst universities “committed to economic diversity,” according to a New York Times college ranking released Thursday.
The New York Times arrived at the ranking by factoring in the number of lower-income and middle-income students that a university enrolls alongside the amount that those students pay to attend. Universities that enroll more lower and middle-income students at a lower price received the highest ranking.
UC campuses dominated the top portion of the list. UC Irvine received the highest ranking and UCSB followed after it.
UC Davis, UC San Diego and UCLA ranked third, fourth and fifth, respectively. UC Berkeley ranked ninth.
Nearly 40 percent of UCSB’s freshman class — made up of approximately 4,600 students — is receiving the Pell Grant, which the federal government awards to students from the lower half of the economic demographic.
The New York Times also reported that, with an average price of $13,000 for middle-income students, UCSB endows an average of $7,100 to each student.
The New York Times accompanied its college ranking with an op-ed piece by columnist David Leonhardt. He claims that many public universities have been enrolling less lower-to-middle-income student as a result of decreased state funding.
Public universities have been increasingly “replacing” these students with “affluent students who can afford the tuition,” Leonhardt says.
Leonhardt adds that the biggest declines in economic diversity have been amongst UC campuses, which have historically ranked at the top of The New York Times’ college ranking for the past three years.
Rather than replacing poor students, Leonhardt says, the UC has been enrolling the same number of lower-income students while increasing its enrollment of higher-income students. UC campuses have experienced “severe overcrowding” as a result, he says.